Armenian Apocryphal Texts –An Overview by Dr. Michael Stone

Michael Stone, now retired from Hebrew University, but as active as ever in his scholarly investigations and publications, is one of the most engaging scholars in the general area of Jewish texts and traditions of the late 2nd Temple period. I still consider his little book, Scriptures, Sects, and Visions to be one of the landmark studies of our field. One of his unique contributions is the study of Armenian traditions, mostly neglected by classical European and American scholarship.

Studies of the Armenian “Apocryphal Texts” (i.e. Jewish literature from 200 BCE to 100 CE aka “Pseudepigrapha”) associated with the Old Testament have been long neglected in favor of other textual traditions, especially Greek, Latin, and Syriac–and some Hebrew materials from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and in the case of 1 Enoch, Ethiopic. See the collections of R. H. Charles, H.F. D. Sparks, and James Charlesworth, for the standard editions in English. In this lecture Michael Stone of Hebrew University offers an exceptionally clear overview of what has survived among the Armenians–the oldest Christian community in Jerusalem.

You can access one of his major published works on the Armenian “Abraham” traditions on-line here:

See also the many materials at Tony Burke’s site: Apocryphicity.


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